Marcellus Drillers Choking Back Supply, Waiting for New Pipelines

gas pipelineIt’s a theme often repeated here on MDN and in mainstream media: We need more pipelines in the Marcellus/Utica. The problem, of course, is that it’s easy and fast to add new rigs and drill new wells in nothing flat. But at some point all of those wells flowing all of that gas need larger interstate pipelines to get the gas to market–markets in New England, New York and New Jersey, the south, the Midwest, even the Gulf Coast. The Marcellus/Utica is producing more than 25% of all the gas being produced in the country–way more than we can use ourselves. We need to move the gas to other parts of the country that can use it. So new wells come online, but it takes, literally, years to build a new pipeline. Why? Mostly because government regulatory agencies grind so slowly. We have an imbalance. What are drillers in the northeast doing to address the situation? Choking back their wells so they flow less. In some cases they’re shutting the wells in to stop them producing–until new pipelines are finished providing access to new markets so they can sell gas for a higher price. The latest mainstream media source to note this trend is Bloomberg…

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